English Dub Review: Ulysses-Jeanne d’Arc and the Alchemist Knight “Dance Music of White and Black”

If you’re thinking of being Ulysses, it don’t matter if you’re black or white!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Jeanne returns to the battlefield to cheer on the troops, who gain their second wind and charge forth, though she can’t be resurrected the same way twice, so Montmorency is hesitant to put her on the frontlines. Philip, or Ulysses Noire, has also recovered, but is eager to die, and so begins her wholesale slaughter of the French forces. Jeanne rushes to face her, but ends up in the crosshairs of Glasdale’s bow again. She’s also on equal footing with Noire, but Noire distracts by revealing the deal Montmorency made with his grandfather to get the troops. Putting aside how she would even know about that, knowing that Montmorency promised to marry someone when he said he wouldn’t distracts Jeanne long enough for the enemy’s trap: swarms of arrows hiding the one that could kill Jeanne.

Instead of just explaining the deal was actually faked, Montmorency decides to swallow the other half of the stone, granting HIM Ulysses abilities. He deems that because Jeanne’s power is to attack, the other half of the stone gave him the power to defend, thus why they are a whole stone…even though Jeanne’s stated ability isn’t attacking, it’s agility. So, by that logic, Montmorency’s ability should be slowing things down. But whatever, he can use air shields now, but even that’s not enough to stop Glasdale’s arrow…which lands on Noire’s helmet, seemingly killing her. The bridge they fought on crumbles, with Noire falling into the river below and Glasdale jumping in after her.

The battle is victorious and it looks like Montmorency isn’t feeling any of the side effects of the stone! That is, until the sky begins to be clouded, followed by the fifth, sixth, AND SEVENTH dimensions opening up to reveal demonic tentacles in the air. Nicholas Flemel remarks how love is the cause of the end of the world.

OUR TAKE

You know, I feel like I should be really angry about the number of asspulls this episode took regarding the already flimsy lore this story has established, like Montmorency just eating the other half of the stone and being pretty much fine. Or how Glasdale just randomly dropped some of his backstory completely unprompted to somehow indicate a weird love for Philip that’s almost as creepy as the main couple. Or how we’ve stepped into soap opera bullshit territory so many times, especially this week, over something as needlessly complicated as the twelve year old being jealous over her adult boyfriend’s fake marriage to his sister-cousin to get important troops. All of these are things I should probably be pretty frustrated or at least mildly annoyed at, but I…just can’t bring up the energy to care anymore.

Now, as I reach far up MY OWN buttocks for positives, this definitely felt like there was far more momentum than last time, and with things actually requiring other things that are around to finish other…things? Okay, no. This was garbage. I am doubling down on my claim that the show has split off from the source material and is hurtling towards an anime original ending, because offing Ulysses Noire feels almost as rushed as Richemont’s return in the previous episode. Though I think it’s safe to say she isn’t dead yet, since she only fell into the water, and it would be a little sad if Montmorency never found out she was actually Philip, so she’ll be back with Glasdale to help everyone fight whoever the real bad guy is who’s coming out of those purple clouds.

It’s really the clouds that make me think we’re speeding off the rails of however the light novels went. If there’s any pattern I’ve noticed in my many years of anime watching, it’s the neck breaking left turn and incredibly jarring shoehorning of last minute enemies in the last couple episodes of a short adaptation that none of the staff cares about. Best guess is the final boss is whoever had those wings in the Opening, and Nicholas Flemel showing up must mean this is that prophecy he thought Montmorency was going to be instrumental in. I sincerely hope this is going to turn out to be a stealth prequel to Fate Zero (where another version of Montmorency exists) so that I can at least associate this series with something I like. In the meantime, buckle up for the final three episodes because things are about to get cuh-RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY.

Score
1/10

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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